Many of the buildings you see along the streets of Annapolis have served more than one purpose throughout their lifespan. From modest family homes to small churches to restaurants, shops, or even museums, their purposes have varied throughout the years. The Banneker Douglass Museum, constructed in 1874, is one of our favorite examples of history with a purpose. What was once a well-known church has today become a museum that explores and preserves the history of the African American residents who have made Annapolis their home over the centuries!
The Banneker Douglass Museum is Located at 84 Franklin Street
The current incarnation of the Banneker Douglass Museum in Annapolis is celebrating 50 years as a historical monument to African American history, but it has been in existence far longer than that! Starting out as Mount Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, this Victorian/Gothic building has witnessed so much in its 145 years, and when you visit during your Annapolis getaway, you will receive a fascinating glimpse into its history.
The museum is named after Benjamin Banneker, a free-born African American man who was the first scientist/mathematician in a culture that throughout most of his life was unable to read, and Frederick Douglass, a man who escaped slavery and spent his life fighting for slaves to be freed and treated as equals. Even though it is not known if either of these two men ever attended Mount Moriah, by giving their name to the building and the foundation, it honors their struggles in the finest of ways.
Open from 10AM until 4PM Tuesdays through Saturdays, admission is free, but feel free to leave a donation to help with their worthy cause. The museum offers fascinating exhibits that include a Celebration of African Americans in Maryland, an Homage to Verda Freeman, the first black woman elected to the Senate, and many other artifacts that give proof to how far we’ve come and yet how much further along the battle for equality needs to continue! As you explore, learn, and grow during your visit, take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the architecture of the brick building you are standing in—the soaring ceilings, the original stained glass windows, and the simple beauty of the space where services were once held. The craftsmanship of the Banneker Douglass Museum in Annapolis stands apparent after over a century of use. If you have children, make sure you visit the famous Chesapeake Children’s Museum during your stay!
Comfortable and Charming
When your day of history has ended, heading home to the modern conveniences of one of our At Home Annapolis vacation escapes will be the cherry on the top of a very delicious sundae. Reserve your stay with us today! Browse our downtown vacation rentals.